Creating Parnership Working in Primary Care


Community link workers

Community Links Practitioners work with individuals from the practice list populations on a one-to-one basis to help identify and address issues that negatively impact their health. Central to the approach is identifying and supporting individuals to access suitable resources within the community that can benefit their health and increase health competence.

They also network with these local community resources to support the development of their own capacity and identify any gaps in local service provision.

This is particularly helpful for understanding the perspectives of community organisations who may benefit from better links with general practice with the aim of creating more appropriate referrals and better outcomes for patients.

Quick read - 7 things I wish I'd known about being a Community Links Practitioner

A personal reflection from a Community Links Practitioner about their role.

Longer read - evaluation of Community Links Practitioners programme (Health Scotland 2016) (PDF)

This gives an overview of the programme and gives an insight into collaborative working and the perspectives of community organisations on the pilot programme.

Putting learning into practice:

  • Links Worker Programme Record of Learning Series 1 (Alliance Scotland, 2015)
  • Learn about the context and creation of the programme, developing governance and programme management, working with general practice, recruiting, induction, training and evolution of the links worker role, when thinking about the national roll out of the Links Worker Project.          
  • Links Worker Programme Record of Learning Series 2 (Alliance Scotland, 2016)
  • Learn about how they defined and implemented the links, the social determinants in primary care, and team wellbeing in general practice. This is particularly helpful when applying to your local context.


Deep end advice workers project: embedding welfare rights and advice workers

In response to evolving financial, legislative and service delivery landscapes, and building on the longstanding history of GP practices as valuable community hubs, the Deep End Advice Worker project developed and tested approaches to delivering advice services from two GP practices in Parkhead, Glasgow.

The learning from this project will be useful for anyone considering the integration of welfare rights/financial advice workers in general practice.

Read the evaluation (PDF)


Govan SHIP: Social and health intergraion partnership project

The SHIP project was developed in order to respond to the needs of patients with complex health and social needs living in the most deprived general practices in Scotland. It aims to address the inverse care law via an integration model. The key components of this model are linked social work and social care workers, GP extra time and multidisciplinary team (MDT) working. This project is an example of how primary care and social care can work more effectively together and uses extended MDT meetings for managing complex cases.

Read the evaluation (PDF)